After a remarkable Cornbury performance, singer-songwriter David Ford has time to talk to us about selling his soul, his dislike
for festivals and bringing eighteen of his mates on tour with him...
Virtual Festivals: How are you finding Cornbury so far?
David Ford: “Well, kind of mixed,
I think the show was very enjoyable and the stage was lovely and everything worked and it sounded great and the crew were
very accommodating. We had a few problems when we arrived last night, being herded around somewhat by the stewards,
who, although very polite no one seemed to know where anything was or where we were supposed to go. But apart from that
the general festival vibe has been cool partly because my band for this consists of eighteen of my closest friends.
So we just kind of legitimately get eighteen artist passes and we all come over and camp for the weekend, have a great time
and play a show. It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable I think. You can do festivals as a job, very
business like and be very efficient and that can be great but I’d much rather come for a weekend with my friends and
still put on a great show and still be efficient and work hard. But we work hard for the three hours around our show
and then we get to just hang out and have fun.”
VF: You’re staying for the whole weekend then…
DF: “Most of the weekend.”
VF: Is there anyone you’d like to catch?
Vega I definitely want to see because I’ve just finished a tour with her and I didn’t get to see her show all
the way through so she’s someone I really want to see. I like her a lot, she’s very good. Just whoever
really, to be honest I don’t really like coming to festivals to see music; I don’t think it’s a very good
environment to see music in. You can stumble upon things accidentally but always if you go to see people you know you
like in advance it always tends to be disappointing because the sound is never that good and I’m a grumpy old bastard.
But it’s good for new finds.”
VF: Is this the only festival you’ll be going to this year then?
DF: “Yeah it is.”
VF: Not even as a punter?
DF: “I don’t like punting.”
How do you think your music went down today?
DF: “I’m really really happy with the way the show
it was one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve ever done. Partly because I look around the stage and it’s all
my mates there and they all did their jobs very very well. I couldn’t hear on stage that well but the vibe was
nice and the audience were very receptive and the place filled up and they stuck around. You can’t really ask
VF: How do you think your music adapts to a less intimate setting like a festival?
DF: “I think the music I do always benefits from a level of intimacy with the audience and in smaller venues you can
do that much easier. Festivals you have to grind it down to the lowest common denominator and make music that has no
subtly to it. You have to bang off the subtly and round off the edges and make something that is a bit more blunt in
the face of the audience. All the little intricacies get lost in a tent that big with all the unreliable sound issues
that you have.”
VF: What are your plans for the future?
DF: “A new album out
VF: How’s it sounding? Is it finished?
DF: “I think it’s
finished, there’s a couple of mixes we’re jus um-ing and ah-ing over but it might be finished.”
Do you think its better then your first album?
DF: “It’s different to the first album.”
How does it differ?
DF: “The first record I made without the aid of a safety net or a record label and
as such completely liberated to make the kind of record that I wanted to make. Whereas this record there was a lot more
of having to get a job done and I didn’t really enjoy that so much. I think there’s a good record
coming out of it and probably a record with more commercial potential then the first record but I would’ve been happy
to make cute little records that nobody bought forever but at some point you have to take care of business. It’s
what you do. You sell your arse to these people and you have to do what they say.”
VF: Do you feel
you lose something when that happens? Is it like selling your soul?
DF: “No because what I want to say
is written in my songs and no one ever says anything about the songs that I write. There is never any compromise or
collaboration in song writing, it’s just the presentation of the songs where I have to get certain job done and I wasn’t
full prepared for to be honest to you. But I do understand how it works and I understand why I have to do it and the
thing is I can’t complain because I signed the paper and took the money and my arse belongs to somebody else now.
But ultimately it is my record. I don’t feel like I’ve completely sold my soul, I feel I’ve maybe
had to consider some other considerations beyond those which I did for the first record. That’s not to say I’d
never ever want to make a record with the cynical view to sell units to get in the charts. It’s still not a chart
record; it’s not designed to be that. And it’s just not going to be that. Hopefully it’s a good record
and I think it’s a brilliant record and how history judges it is anyone’s guess.”